National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 4th
(All times eastern)
Houston Astros (35-72) at Atlanta Braves (61-45), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Lucas Harrell (8-7, 4.03)
Atlanta - Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.74)
(Sports Network) - Paul Maholm will have a chance to show why the Atlanta
Braves acquired him before the trade deadline when he takes the mound tonight
against the Houston Astros at Turner Field.
Maholm was acquired from the Chicago Cubs along with outfielder Reed Johnson
in exchange for right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman. It
must have been hard for Chicago to part ways with Maholm, who went 5-0 with a
sparkling 1.00 earned run average in his last seven games (6 starts) with his
"You are wanting to make a good impression," Maholm said. "You have to go out
there and pitch your game and do as well as you can."
The left-hander has had plenty of success in his days against the Astros,
going 12-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 21 starts and beat them on June 29 this season
with 8 1/3 shutout innings and six strikeouts.
Tim Hudson got the job done in his start on Friday during a 4-1 win over the
Astros in which he improved to 5-0 in this series by allowing one unearned run
in 7 1/3 innings. Hudson is 5-0 in his previous six outings overall and
scattered four hits to improve to 11-4.
"(Hudson) is one of those guys, every time he goes out there he just performs
for the team," teammate Martin Prado said. "We're just trying to get some runs
to support him."
Prado and Dan Uggla both had an RBI double for the Braves, who have won nine
of their last 10 games and are 15-6 since the All-Star break. The Braves are
targeting their fourth straight series win and own a 7-1 mark on a 10-game
homestand. Chipper Jones had two RBI and has hit safely in 27 of his last 31
games. Freddie Freeman went 0-for-2 with two walks and entered the night
batting .368 with three homers, 18 RBI and a .455 on-base percentage since
Atlanta is now two games behind Washington for the NL East lead.
The Astros are a major league-worst 35-72 on the season. It is only 3-29 in
its last 32 games and was swept in three games at Milwaukee before heading to
Armando Galarraga took the loss in his second start of the season, giving up
four runs on five hits with seven walks and four strikeouts over 5 1/3
"Galarraga really got his pitch count up by being behind in the count...but
for the most part he seemed to pitch around the walks," Houston manager Brad
J.D. Martinez drove in the lone run for the Astros, who are winless in 10
straight on the road and fell to 10-45 as the visitor.
Taking the mound for the Astros tonight will be Lucas Harrell, who is 2-1 in
his past three decisions, spanning six starts. Harrell held Pittsburgh to two
runs through 5 2/3 innings his last time out in a 9-5 win on Sunday to push
his record to 8-7 in 21 starts to go along with a 4.03 ERA.
Harrell, a right-hander, is just 2-6 in 12 road starts this season and will
face Atlanta for the first time.
Houston dropped two of three meetings to Atlanta at home back in early April
and is 3-14 in the previous 17 matchups between the two clubs. The Braves are
unbeaten in the past six games as the host.
08/04 10:51:11 ET